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c) nervous, excitable

German translation:

high-strung = nervös, reizbar

high-strung: approximately 350,000 Google hits



Sample text:

Prozac was also a source of humour for much of the 1990s, as HIGH-STRUNG American workers turned to the drug seeking relief.

(BBC - Business News)

"If I spread myself too thin, then I'm not a good actor, I'm not a good mother, and I'm just really HIGH-STRUNG - and everybody hates me."

- Hollywood actress Katherine Heigl

Did you know?

high-strung (also highly-strung)
adjective phrase

- tending to be very nervous and easily excited

(American Heritage Dictionary)

There are two potential origins for the adjective high-strung. One suggestion is that it refers to the tuning of stringed instruments. The idea is that a string that is tuned too high will eventually snap. The other theory refers to an archery bow that has been tightened so much that it becomes too tense.

High-strung can be applied to animals as well as humans. Certain breeds of dogs are known to be high-strung, such as terriers, poodles and chihuahuas. Some types of cats tend to be nervous as well. High-strung is also used to describe horses who are nervous and jittery, especially race horses who become "jumpy" before the start of a race.

As for humans, most of us know someone we would call high-strung. A good example in the film world is Woody Allen, who typically assumes the role of the "urban neurotic" in his films. In Annie Hall, he plays a high-strung New York comedian who says, "When I was thrown out of college, my mother, who was an emotionally high-strung woman, locked herself in the bathroom and took an overdose of Mah-Jongg tiles."


nervous, edgy, excitable, restive, skittish, tense

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